Applying for a Job

What employers look for

Desirable skills

  • Analysing skills
  • Problem solving ability eg being able to give examples of situations using the C A R principle

Circumstances Action Results

    • Desire to find/make the most of your opportunities
    • Communication skills – written and oral and artistic
    • Commonsense
    • Knowing yourself eg able to talk about yourself and what certain experiences or situations show about you
    • Willingness to take risks at times and to seek a challenge
    • Multi-skilled
    • Empathy (eg in hypothetical situations)
    • Honesty, integrity, reliability, trustworthiness
    • Word processing skills and other ICT skills
    • Leadership – can give examples
    • Teamwork – can give examples
    • Able to communicate how you would transfer your skills/knowledge to situations
    • Willingness to move around within a company and gain valuable experience in positions that are not necessarily an upwards promotion
    • Ability to handle and shine in group interview situations where only certain applicants will progress to another round of interviews
    • Ability to work with a range of people, workmates, clients, customers
    • Ability to work as part of a team (give examples)
    • Ability to follow instructions yet use initiative when needed
    • Additional qualifications like driving licences, short courses, first aid
    • Involvement in community, sporting, cultural organizations
    • Volunteer work shows a willingness to work and be involved and can provide good evidence of work skills and references

Remember that you must adapt or modify each letter and each copy of your resume for each job you are applying for. This is time-consuming but will be more rewarding especially if you are applying for jobs that are quite different. Tell everyone you know that you are looking for a job – many jobs are not advertised. Ask each person (friends, neighbours, relatives, coach etc) to ask around or keep their ears to the ground for you.

RESUMES

  • A resume needs to be a brief but succinct overview of your life and your suitability for the job. Ideally it should be no more than 2 pages.
  • Keep resumes simple, use dot points, highlight your achievements and skills, and why you are just the right person the employer needs.
  • Correct spelling, punctuation and grammar are essential.
  • An employer will spend less than one minute assessing each application if many are received so they look for reasons to eliminate applicants. Incorrect spelling, punctuation and grammar shows poor literacy skills and a lack of attention to detail ie if you are sloppy on this, what will you be like on the job?
  • Don’t use coloured paper or fancy fonts. They are difficult to read and photocopy for other members of the interview panel to read. Use Arial or Times New Roman in font size 12.
  • Don’t include a photo of yourself.
  • Including details of your age and marital status is not legally required unless the job is for an 18 year old.
  • Before mentioning the names of people to act as referees, always ask their permission first and ask whether they will say positive things about you. Ask what contact details they want provided eg which phone number.

APPLICATION LETTERS

  • Be aware of correct letter writing procedure and layout.
  • Letters of application or introduction should be less than one page in length.
  • If there are specific criteria mentioned in an advertisement for a job, you MUST address each one or your chances of even getting an interview will be reduced.
  • Correct spelling, punctuation and grammar are more important than you realize.
  • Each employer will spend less than one minute assessing each application if many are received so they look for reasons to eliminate applicants.
  • Incorrect spelling, punctuation and grammar shows poor literacy skills and a lack of attention to detail ie if you are sloppy on this, what will you be like on the job?
  • Don’t use coloured paper or fancy fonts. They are difficult to read and photocopy for other members of the interview panel to read. Use Arial or Times New Roman in font size 12.
  • Take the time and effort to find out who to address the letter to ie ring the company and find out the name of the manager or the head of the personnel department rather write To whom it may concern.
  • Always get someone to proof-read your letters of application before sending them.
  • More employers now request that you apply on line. Please please please follow instructions carefully to ensure you do this correctly.

INTERVIEWS

  • This is your opportunity to show the potential employer why you are the best person for the job being offered. You have to “sell” yourself and your suitability for the job. This is no time to be humble because if you don’t let them know your strengths, you else will?
  • Preparation and planning are the keys to successful job interviews.
  • Finally, remember that first impressions count more than you realize. An employer will make a decision, either positive or negative, in the first few seconds that you enter the room.
  • If you have an interview for a job, a scholarship or college accommodation or want to apply for a job, you can also prepare by looking up the over 60 Clickview videos on the library computers. There are over 10 programs alone when you type in the words “job interview”.You can watch the programs on the computers in the library.
  • Emerging trends are for group interviews as the initial step and from these applicants will be culled so they have a short list for personal interviews. Sometimes interviews will be one-on-one or they may be carried out by a panel of interviewers.